Thursday, May 1, 2014

Setbacks or Setups?

In case you haven't noticed, I have fallen in love with figure skating.  The combination of athleticism, artistry and music are a perfect fit for me.

To have a setback is very difficult.  In fact, recently I've had one right after another.

It started with a growing soreness in my left ankle bone.  I had to lay off for a few days.

Then I got very sick with a cold like I haven't had in years and missed a week of skating.

Then my Mother started losing her appetite and losing weight and when the retirement home became alarmed at her quickly failing health, it threw my life into another tailspin.

My siblings came to the rescue to give me a break and over the same time, a new medicine began to help my mother start to improve.

While my brother stayed with my Mother, my sister and I took a trip to Nashville so I could work on my christmas show.  That was an AMAZING trip, but I missed 3 more days of skating.

Now, I was finally ready to get back into my daily skating routine this past Monday.  I skated great, felt great and even had the privilege of having my big brother from New Mexico video tape what I've learned so far.  It was so fun to have him enter into this new journey in my life.  We spent the day together after skating.  He treated me to a big wonderful hot chocolate at a quaint little coffee shop near the rink and then we spent the rest of the day visiting his friends and seeing the beautiful unfolding of Spring in South Central PA.  I took him to the airport in the afternoon and said goodbye.

By evening I could barely walk on my left foot without severe pain.

Today as I type this, I am facing an ankle injury and I have no idea how it happened.  I tried to skate yesterday and it only made things worse.  My coach is guessing it's a sprain and told me to either press through the pain or to stay off if it got worse.  Skating made it worse, so I've had to stop.

This has been a real setback to me.

One of the things I've always heard about goal setting is that you should write out your vision and see yourself accomplishing your goals.  I have been doing that as it relates to skating and it's been working wonderfully.  But my most recent mentor encouraged me to also write out the setbacks I may encounter along the way so that I would be emotionally prepared for them if they happen.  Now at first that seems really negative, but I decided to try it.  Thank God I did.  I pulled them out today to review them.

Here's what he told me to do:  "Anticipate the obstacles you'll encounter (without wallowing in paranoia, list some of the potential hurdles or frustrations you might face as you pursue your goals):"

So here is what I wrote back in January when I was first writing out the setbacks I might encounter regarding my vision about figure skating. (I will share my new vision with you at some point, but not yet).

1)  physical injury, setbacks
2)  skating gracefully may not be as easy as I think - might take longer to learn than I thought
3)  money challenges

My next assignment was this:

"Now, look over the list of obstacles above and write down proactive ways you will deal with them and rise above if they come up.  (How will you brace yourself for disappointments?)."

Here's what I wrote:

1)  Do all I can to recover as quickly as possible and be careful to prevent any injury in the first place.
2)  Be joyful for any progress I make and let it be about artistry, not technicality.
3)  Be very intentional about what it will cost me to do anything music related (be careful about what I spend). Trust God.

Time to apply the lesson.

I could feel myself slipping into discouragement last night when I realized that I cannot skate for a while right now.  I can't continue on with that goal.  I need to rest the ankle and let it heal.

I decided this morning that I will turn my setback into a setup.  I have plenty to do for upcoming concerts and I am in the thick of planning my big christmas show.  (by the way - an official announcement is coming soon, but you can save the date now!  December 6, 2014 at 7:00 p.m.)

I will turn this setback into a setup by:
  • Focusing on music and giving my foot a break.  
  • Being thankful for this focused time to work on details about the show.
  • NOT seeing this as a setback but a setup to succeed at other areas in my life until I can get back to skating.
Yes - that's it.  See this as a setup.
  • A setup to get other things done.
  • A setup to rest my body so I can continue skating eventually.
  • A setup for some extra time at home with my husband.
So many things to be thankful for.  It's the attitude of Tigger instead of Eeyore.

What are some setbacks you are encountering?

What if you start seeing how they could be a setup for something wonderful in your life?